Nine Tan-renga with Pamela Miller Ness

Previously published in various journals. Pamela Miller Ness wrote all nine starting verses, and sent them to me on 1 July 2004, with I wrote the response verses on 2 July 2004, and we made changes to verses 1, 2, and 6 on 13 February 2006.



September roses—

the night we floated

petals in the bath


                a ruby-throated hummingbird

                tapping at the window


                ~     ~     ~


rim trail

a stranger passes

at the highest point


                glint of evening sun

                off a passing jet


                ~     ~     ~


October sun

a white koi surfaces

among the lilies


                a cowboy rides up

                on his tricycle


                ~     ~     ~


another spring

the stain

on mother’s apron


                her birthday circled

                on the lighthouse calendar


                ~     ~     ~


New Year’s dawn

a rose flush ascends

Mt. Rainier


                my wife tells me

                her erotic dream


                ~     ~     ~


squeezing out

the last dab of toothpaste

New Year’s Day


                mother throws out

                dad’s ratty slippers


                a log tips over

                the lip of the falls


                ~     ~     ~


cold spell

the oatmeal



                you read the comics

                without laughing


                ~     ~     ~


cold snap

tips of the pine

cup the snow


                my hands wrapped

                around a porcelain teacup


                ~     ~     ~


museum display

the mobile passes

through its shadow


                a cell phone rings

                the Ode to Joy